(Redirected from, formerly known as and Guardian Unlimited, is a British news and media website owned by the Guardian Media Group. It contains nearly all of the content of the newspapers The Guardian and The Observer, as well as a substantial body of web-only work produced by its own staff, including a rolling news service. As of November 2014, it was the second most popular online newspaper in the UK with over 17 million readers per month; with over 21 million monthly readers, Mail Online was the most popular.[1]
Type of site
Online newspaper
Available inEnglish
OwnerGuardian Media Group
Created byThe Guardian
Launched1999 (1999)
Current statusActive

The site is made up of a core news site, with niche sections and subsections covering subjects including sport, business, environment, technology, arts and media, and lifestyle. is notable for its engagement with readers, including long-running talkboards and a network of weblogs. Its seven blogs were joined on 14 March 2006, by a new comment section, "Comment is free", which has since merged into its Opinion section.

The site can be viewed without cost or registration, though some services such as leaving comments on articles require users to register. In March 2009, launched their API, using the OAuth protocol and making a wide range of Guardian content available for use by web application developers.[2]

Ownership Edit is part of the Guardian Media Group of newspapers, radio stations, and new media, including The Guardian daily newspaper and The Observer Sunday newspaper. Guardian Media Group is owned by the Scott Trust, a charitable foundation which aims to ensure the newspaper's editorial independence in perpetuity, maintaining its financial health to ensure it does not become vulnerable to takeover by for-profit media groups, and the serious compromise of editorial independence that this often brings.

History Edit was launched in 1999, born of the Guardian New Media Lab. Its popularity soared after the September 11 attacks in the United States in 2001, largely thanks to the diverse range of viewpoints published in The Guardian newspaper.[citation needed] The website won the Best Newspaper category in the 2005, 2006 and 2007 Webby Awards, beating the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and Variety.[3]

In 2006, reported its first profitable year, with income coming mostly from recruitment and display advertising.[4] In May 2007, begun an 18-month programme of redesigning and adding features to the entire website, starting with the travel section, then moving through the rest of the site and the front page, finally updating the blogging and community features.[5] On 30 July 2013, the website was moved from to as part of increasing investments to grow globally.[6]

In 2018 joined with competitors News UK (The Times, The Sunday Times, The Sun) and The Daily Telegraph to create a joint platform for advertisers to buy online adverts across the multiple leading news websites, called The Ozone Project.[7] Later in the year Reach plc (formerly Trinity Mirror) joined the platform, bringing nearly all of UK's national newspapers onto the platform.[8]

Subsites and related online publications Edit

Guardian Sport Edit

The Guardian's Sport section has made the online transition into a popular and well-respected website, providing news, results, match reports, and live commentaries from a host of different sports.'s sports coverage has been pioneering in the online newspaper industry in the United Kingdom in offering live coverage of sports, especially football, over the Web. Examples include live text commentaries of 115 Premier League football matches and every FIFA World Cup match, as well as some live coverage of the FA Cup, Champions League, Europa League, and the occasional La Liga, League Cup, and playoff games.

"The Fiver" Edit

"The Fiver" is a daily, mostly humorous football newsletter, available in the Sport section or via email newsletter, delivered to opt-in subscribers' inboxes at (approximately) 5 pm Guardian Standard Time, Monday to Friday (hence the name "Fiver"). It does not appear in the print edition of The Guardian newspaper. "The Fiver" enjoys a worldwide following. Fiver writers include Paul Doyle and Barry Glendenning and are drawn from the Guardian sportswriting staff.

"Comment is free" Edit

"Comment is free" (abbreviated Cif) was a comment and political opinion section within It contained comment and opinion pieces from The Guardian and The Observer newspapers, plus contributions from more than 600 other writers. The section was edited by Natalie Hanman;[9] its sub-site devoted to religious affairs, "Cif belief", was edited by Andrew Brown. It was launched on 14 March 2006,[10] with Georgina Henry as launch editor. The original technical design and build was by Ben Hammersley, based on the Movable Type blogging platform. Latterly, Cif ran on a custom Guardian-made system, using Pluck for the commenting.[11]

The site's name was derived from a sentence in a famous essay written by veteran Guardian editor C. P. Scott: "Comment is free, but facts are sacred."[12]

The site strictly enforced its talk policy by moderating comments after posting.[13] For particularly sensitive topics, comments may be moderated before posting.[14] Moderators could remove posts that violated the site's Community Standards (usually leaving a marker of the removal), but did not edit them.[14][15]

"Comment is free" has merged with's "Opinion" section, starting in late 2014 with the US edition, and concluding in early 2015 with the UK edition. It no longer uses the "Comment is free" title, though commentisfree remains in its URL.

Guardian America Edit

Guardian America was an American version of the British news website Guardian Unlimited. The strategy, intended to win more U.S.-based readers, was abandoned in October 2009.[16]

Much of the content on Guardian America was taken from Guardian Unlimited and The Guardian, although some content was produced specifically for Guardian America.

Guardian US, launched in September 2011, is The Guardian's New York City-based American online presence. now redirects to The Guardian's United States topic page.

Tor network version Edit

In May 2022 the Guardian launched an .onion version of its website on the Tor network,[17] with assistance from Alec Muffett.[18]

Readership Edit is one of the UK's leading online newspapers. It became the first UK newspaper to attract more than 25 million unique users in a month (October 2008).[19] On 7 July 2005, following the London bombings, 1.3 million unique users visited the site and a total of 7.8 million pages were viewed, at the time a record for[20]

As of August 2010 it was the second-most popular UK newspaper website after Mail Online, getting almost 34.6 million unique users monthly, and 13.7 million unique British users monthly.[21] By May 2011 it reached 2.8m unique visitors per day, and 51.3m per month, behind the MailOnline's 4.4m and 77.3m.[22] As of May 2013, using National Readership Survey and comScore's statistics, it was the most popular UK newspaper website with 8.2m unique visitors per month, ahead of Mail Online with 7.6m unique monthly visitors.[1] By July 2021, however, Mail Online was reported to have the highest level of online daily readers in the UK at 4.1 million.[23]

Awards Edit

The awards were created in 2008.[24]

Moreover, the 2011 award of "Political Journalist of the Year" to The Guardian's Andrew Sparrow "was significant because it was a recognition of the impact of his general election live blog – a reward for innovation as well as reporting."[25]

In 2009 it was nominated for (but did not win) a Webby Award for "Best Copy/Writing".[26] However, the subsite Cif belief was nominated for and won, the Webby in the best religion and spirituality site category.

References Edit

  1. ^ a b "Daily Mail most popular UK newspaper". Press Gazette. 29 August 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  2. ^ "The Guardian Launches Content API". idio. 10 March 2009. Archived from the original on 29 March 2013. Retrieved 14 May 2009.
  3. ^ "The Webby Awards". Archived from the original on 8 April 2011. Retrieved 9 July 2005.
  4. ^ "Guardian Unlimited in the black for first time". Press Gazette. 31 March 2006. Archived from the original on 23 May 2009. Retrieved 30 January 2008. The Guardian's website,, made a profit of £1m this year
  5. ^ "Guardian Unlimited – the new look explained". Guardian Unlimited news blog. London. 10 May 2007. Retrieved 30 January 2008. 18-month programme to redesign and rebuild every part of GU.
  6. ^ " is our new domain, as of today". Inside The Guardian Blog. 30 July 2013.
  7. ^ Waterson, Jim (20 June 2018). "Guardian, News UK and Telegraph launch joint advertising business". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
  8. ^ Tobitt, Charlotte (11 September 2018). "Joint advertising platform becomes 'truly cross-industry initiative' as Reach unites with News UK, Guardian and Telegraph". Press Gazette. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  9. ^ Natalie Hanman, Guardian profile page.
  10. ^ "Comment is Free launches Tuesday | Fleet Street 2.0 | Press Gazette". Archived from the original on 1 October 2011. Retrieved 27 August 2011.
  11. ^ Laura Oliver, "Guardian implements Pluck on Comment Is Free platform", 9 June 2008,
  12. ^ "Comment is free, but facts are sacred". the Guardian. 23 October 2017.
  13. ^ Andrew Brown, "A thank you note on moderation", 24 March 2010.
  14. ^ a b, 7 May 2009, Frequently asked questions about community on, accessed 28 July 2011.
  15. ^, 7 May 2009, Community standards and participation guidelines.
  16. ^ Andrews, Robert (20 October 2009). "GNM Axing, Shuffling Execs In Restructure". Archived from the original on 24 June 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  17. ^ Chauvin, Mariot (30 May 2022). "Guardian launches Tor onion service | Technology". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 October 2022.
  18. ^ Soul, Jon; Kokkini, Ioanna (6 October 2022). "How we built the Guardian's Tor Onion service". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 October 2022.
  19. ^ Kiss, Jemima (20 November 2008). "ABCe: US election build-up helps UK newspaper sites to record traffic". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 20 November 2008. The site recorded 25,976,046 unique users last month, according to the latest officially audited web figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations Electronic.
  20. ^ Plunkett, John (8 July 2005). "Record numbers visit Guardian Unlimited". MediaGuardian. London. Retrieved 30 January 2008. Total unique users: 15,955,312
  21. ^ Jemima Kiss. "ABCes: Mail Online presses ahead as rivals see post-World Cup dip". The Guardian.
  22. ^ Deans, Jason (23 June 2011). "ABCe: Mail Online nears 80 million monthly users". Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  23. ^ Watson, Amy (30 June 2022). "Average daily audience of online newspaper brands in the United Kingdom (UK) in July 2021". Statista. Retrieved 21 January 2023.
  24. ^ a b Press Gazette, "Roll of Honour". Archived from the original on 7 August 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2012., accessed 27 July 2011,
  25. ^, 6 April 2011, Press Awards 2011: let's not forget the winners.
  26. ^ "The Webby Awards". Archived from the original on 8 April 2011. Retrieved 24 March 2016.

External links Edit